Imagine walking down the street and truly seeing your trees come to life. The work of Maizz Visual brings out a powerful projection mapping piece, Dioses del Maiz, or Gods of Corn. The piece was showcased at the 12th Roma-Condesa Cultural Corridor festival where digital artists Jose Morente and Israel Villalobos projected the faces of eight ancient native Mexican gods onto the trees of Parque Mexcico. The faces produce an unearthly and even ghostly appearance, fitting perfectly to the shape of the trees and their movement. In the artist’s own words:
“Firstly we take a picture of the sculpture with the right lighting, and then we work with the image using several software to get the 3D animations, so we can brake, explode or diffuse them. Then we find right trees for projection and we mask some areas of the trees. We used four video projectors that were placed in the middle of the square. Four trees each had two images of two different gods that were switching from one to another through 3D transitions. The idea was to give dynamism to the whole scene while not really altering the essence of the god represented.”
“All Mexican cultures, Zapotec, Olmec, Aztec and Mayan, were united by its cult to corn. They even shared gods, like the Aztec and Olmec who worship Tlaloc, the god for water. So the idea was to bring them back to send a message to our society, but in very unusual way.”
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The work is reminiscent of French Photographer Clement Briend’s Cambodian Trees, making their way to the city streets of Cambodia, Berlin and Paris. The work features divine creates from gargoyles to Buddha mirages, important religious and spiritual figures of Cambodian history and culture. Samples from his work:
In Briend’s own words:
“I use optical projections to create images in reality,” he explains. By placing these images in public spaces, Briend creates a link between reality and imagination. His interest in using urban landscapes as canvases for his work resembles the way advertisers communicate messages. “If I’m able to project huge images seen by many people, well then I have real power. However, I don’t have anything to sell and I don’t want to use projection only for myself.” Instead, Briend hopes to tap into the collective and political nature of public spaces as a way to change the way people perceive the world.”